Author Archives: Joel D. Hirst

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).

Grant Matevosyan

I love literature that is grounded. Stories that emerge from the darkened forests, crystal lakes and crisp mountain pastures where sheep are raised in the summer and which are lost to the forbidding snow, sequestered away and quiet during the … Continue reading

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3,000,000 – I Grieve

Does the earth itself despair, when the strain is too much? When the tears fall down like rain upon screens shorting-out from the warm salty deluge that makes its way onto hardened cement floors of basements or the solid stone … Continue reading

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“By far the best fiction I’ve ever read” she said

“The narrative is masterfully crafted, and I find it baffling the author is someone other than Charles himself. (…) I, Charles from the Camps, is by far the best piece of fiction I’ve ever read.” Read the full review below… … Continue reading

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Wind in the Willows

Is there anything for little boys like the adventure of Mole and Badger and Rat – and of course the ineffable Toad? Of Toad’s exuberance, Mole’s gentle loyalty, Rat’s wisdom, and Badger’s bravery? Up against the evil weasels who have … Continue reading

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“Song of America” by George Mardikian

There is something extraordinarily good, tremendously fresh and clean and pure about “Song of America” by George Mardikian. Mardikian is a now-famous Armenian-American restauranteur and philanthropist who became successful despite the ‘old world’ difficulties – genocide by the Young Turks … Continue reading

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“I Want To Live” – by Shukshin

It is through the simple stories of writers like Vasily Shukshin that we get a glimpse behind the iron curtain into the world of everyday citizens of the Soviet Union. The struggles with poverty, the community frustrations, the attempts to … Continue reading

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A Defeat Better Than Many Victories

“A Defeat Better Than Many Victories” Because that is what, at the end, life is about. And what better time to learn this simple truth, than these the worst years of all. For it is in the victories which you … Continue reading

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My Name is Aram

There is something earthy, well-connected to the land in Armenian literature. The golden sunsets across the mountains, the pale white powdery snow, the gentle goodness of the tastes close to nature – figs and grapes and nuts, occasionally meat when … Continue reading

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“Managerialism” in America

I think it’s safe to say that Karl Marx would not have recognized the mystical lands behind the iron curtain. I think it’s also fair to say that Adam Smith would not have recognized 1950s America. I do however believe … Continue reading

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Adios Hemingway

Writers hate other writers. That’s the secret. Maybe not a particularly well-kept one. Its usually professional jealousy – we don’t want to give legitimacy to the fame of others, happier to accrue their success to winds of fate or connections … Continue reading

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